In another Clusterstock piece today, Joe Weisenthal cites a Research Recap report that surmises the anticipated fiscal spending by the federal government will most likely benefit blue-collar workers more than white-collar workers (US Unprepared for Double-Digit Unemployment Rate),

“While New Deal-inspired infrastructure spending will help to reduce unemployment among blue collar workers, and redress decades of underinvestment in public works, it leaves one major challenge unaddressed: unemployed middle-class professionals. Most of these individuals have had little experience of unemployment, and may face significant challenges in retraining. New Deal-model retraining programmes are unlikely to help them.”

This parlayed with another article recently on ABC News, Some Debt-Laden Gradutes [sic] Wonder Why They Bothered With College.  The article describes how many college students end up pursuing degrees only to find that after school those degrees do not give them a substantial edge in their intended careers.  Not to mentioned being saddled with debt.

But in today’s economy, where so many overqualified people are competing for fewer jobs, the promise of a big payoff from a college diploma can be misleading.

For some students such as Rachele Percell, it has turned out to be a total disappointment. She’s the first one in her family to go to college and said she’ll probably be the last. Earlier this month, struggling to make ends meet, Percell moved out of her New Hampshire apartment and is upset about taking a step back.

“I didn’t plan to go move back in with my mother,” she said. “I feel like I have to sponge off my family now.”

Perhaps the crux of the issue is that there are simply too many middle-class professionals.  The idea that many students have of getting an education in general liberal arts studies and then parlaying that into a professional career seems somewhat overwrought.   In the article, for example, Kris Alfred complains that his degree in Theater is not yielding a high paying job.

The question then is why is this happening?  Perhaps it is parents or guidance counselors that are leading students astray.  Or perhaps it is because a career in a trade seems to be looked down upon in society.  Either (or any) way, it does appears that perceptions are changing and will change further if the Research Recap predictions come to light.

In the meantime, some recommendations from Suze Orman,

Orman said it’s often smarter to acquire specific marketable skills at a community college, a technical school or by working as an apprentice for a business, making yourself more employable without piling up a mountain of debt.


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